Deloraine Co-operative particularly aims to address the needs and aspirations of low income families in a rural community.
The adjoining Muncipalities of Meander Valley and Northern Midlands Extend from the central highlands to the south and west almost to the east coast of Tasmania in the east. Within their borders are dozens of medium and small townships and a diverse and productive farming community.
The lifestyles and interests of the members of the co-operative often differ from those in urban communities.
One of the aims of the Deloraine co-operative is to facillitate such traditional rural interests as animal husbandry, gardening, etc.
The Muncipal boundaries of Meander Valley and Northern Midlands
Northern Midlands
framework and subject to the ultimate responsibility of the Board of the Co-op. (Tenants are all entitled to be Directors.)
This and other management arrangements place greater responsibilities on co-operative tenants than that normally expected by landlords. However, at the same time, the arrangements also provide significantly more benefits. Greater autonomy and independence, greater freedom and flexibility.
For instance, because tenants manage their own maintenance budgets, there is a built in incentive to manage them efficiently. Any savings tenants can make, for instance by carrying out their own repairs, can be available for home improvements at their discretion.
This fits in with traditional country values of self-reliance as well as being an efficient management strategy for the co-operative.
The members of the Deloraine Country Housing Co-operative have structured the co-operative to best serve the particular needs of people living in this area. The tenancy and property management structure has also been carefully designed to cope with a property portfolio spread over such a w
ide area.
For example, where other co-operatives have found it possible to manage maintenance issues using a committee structure, the Deloraine co-operative has, due to the distances, devolved the maximum possible responsibility to tenants. The tenants of each property are allocated an annual maintenance budget and the constitution of the co-operative provides that tenants of a property are delegated the responsibility for managing maintenance of the property they rent.
In effect, the result is that co-operative tenants are in a very similar position to home-owners, except for operating within a somewhat more structured